Prologue – Mistress Spinner

2 juli 2005

The intricacy of the web spun in the dark was such that none but few could have made out its true form. One would have to have had the Feel for spinning and unspinning, weaving and unweaving, Webbing and unWebbing. And few had the Feel for that, and even fewer ever saw the Web in its trueness.
The smallest of the fine, white threads could never have been perceived by a human, just as those which had twined and twined for an eternity were to large for a human to notice. Every single part of the void of darkness was filled with the Web, filled with the threads of pure whiteness.
In the middle of the web stretching eternally in every direction an entity floated. Her face was that of an old lady, and her hair was as white as the threads she cared for. Her body was not, however, human. Her dress of black cobweb hid her true body, leaving only her legs and arms visible. Below her human arms were six spidery legs, all moving between the threads with grace, touching them lightly. Her deep, dark eyes were like pools of wisdom and knowledge, and they studied the Web carefully.
She was the Mistress Spinner, the one who had cared for this web since its creation. She saw to the making of it, she was the one who put the first thread in the Web. She was proud of it, proud of her creation. Now, even those who decided to make her the Spinner heeded her words of wisdom. She was one of the most influential beings in existence, just as she was one of the less known beings. Few mortals had ever heard of her. They only knew the effects of the Web, the effects often called magic. But it was so much more than just magic. The Web was life, power, the very thing that kept the different worlds connected with each other, just as it kept them in place. Without the Web the different worlds, planes and realities would roam freely, crashing with each other until very little or nothing remained.
The void where the Web resided represented the space of every other world. Wherever a thread was placed in the Void, there was a shadow of it in every other world. Aside from being incorporeal, as all shadows, these were also unseen. Only a few could actually see the threads. Some could feel them, know they were there, but see them… No, that was so rare no one had been able to do that in centuries.
In some worlds the shadows were easily felt, while in others, they were sparse and faint. But they could be felt, and used, everywhere, if one had the right potential.
With a spidery leg the Mistress Spinner touched a thread lightly. It vibrated, sending a tingling sensation through its shadows. A vibration returned, answering. She touched another thread, sending a vibration through a larger portion of the Web. It echoed back to her, and she smiled. She touched a third and sent a vibration across its long distance. It travelled across the thread, and then… Stopped. She tilted her head to left, and tapped it again, harder. It vibrated again, and then… No answer. The vibrations died. The Mistress Spinner moved across the Web, following that single thread, tapping it while floating across the Void. There. She had found the place where the vibration died. She studied it carefully, and tapped it, just at the right spot. A short vibration, and then nothing. She studied it closely, and saw it.
A rent in the thread. Small, almost unnoticeable, but it was there. No. No, it could not be, must not be. Not there! Not in that thread, the thread that acted as one of the frames of the Web. If she cut that thread, others would crumble to nothing. The Web would falter and chaos would be inevitable. And that thread’s shadows moved through… No. Cutting it was not an option. But if she let the flawed thread infect others, it could destroy everything. Only one solution remained. Her arms and legs moved swiftly, severing every other thread connected to the damaged part of the damaged thread. Then, she Webbed a barrier around the rent. Isolation, preventing the rent from spreading. But doing that would only buy her time. The source of it must still be stopped, and the damage repaired.
Something had caused that rent, but what? A backlash of force, sent through its shadows, must have damaged the thread. But what, gods be damned, could have created a backlash of such power? A Flaw. It must be a Flaw. So she must find the source of Flaw, and undo it. Yes, it would be dealt with, sooner or later. With the thread isolated, there was time. And when the time was right, she would make her move. The Web must survive, no matter the cost.
The Mistress Spinner smiled, as she floated to the centre of the Web, to spin a plan for a solution. Find the Flaw, and make everything right. Yes, that would do. Slowly, she started her complex Webbing.

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